Fishing

With more than 2,115 miles of beautiful streams, the Great Smoky Mountains are the home to some of the last wild trout reserves in the entire eastern United States. Giving its visitors a variety of unique fishing experiences including remote angling, coldwater smallmouth bass fishing and large headwater trout streams, the park has something to offer all kinds of avid fishers.

Fishing in the Great Smoky Mountains is allowed year round starting 30 minutes before sunrise and going until 30 minutes after sunset. There is fishing allowed in all of the park’s streams except the Lynn Camp Prong. Fishing is not permitted in this stream in order to allow fish to repopulate. Review the USGS Quadrangle Map that’s available at the park’s visitor centers to receive detailed information and a full list of rules and regulations.

License Requirements

In order to fish in the Great Smoky Mountains, you must hold a valid fishing permit or license from either North Carolina or Tennessee. Both state licenses are valid throughout the park and do not require a trout stamp. There are no fishing permits or licenses available in the park, but can be purchased in the surrounding communities.

Daily Fishing Limits

You cannot exceed more than 5 total fish on a daily basis. This includes any combination of stored or fresh rainbow, brown or brook trout. Additionally, an extra 20 rock bass may be kept on top of the above mentioned limit of 5. Once you have reached the daily limit, you must immediately stop fishing.

Size Limits

  • Rockbass – No Limit
  • Rainbow, brown and brook trout – 7 inch minimum
  • Smallmouth bass – 7 inch minimum